In India, around half a million engineers graduate annually from various colleges; while some of these engineers chose the profession because of their aptitude and passion, many of them choose engineering as they are pressurized by their parents.
But, only one out of five engineering graduates in India is employable, claims the third edition of the National Employability Report, Engineering Graduates - 2014. According to the report, 97% of engineers in India find it difficult to speak English; less than 19% are employable.
And, the worst part of this all is this, that such lack of employability has nothing to do with the engineering skills of the graduates: it’s actually their English language proficiency and below par soft skills which is hurting them the most.
The interesting results derived from two studies, i.e., a) ‘The National Spoken English Skills of Engineers Report’, and b) ‘National Employability Report for Engineering Graduates’, are as follows:
- 71.23% of the surveyed students lacked soft and cognitive skills
- 97% of the surveyed students were unable to speak English which is a prerequisite for getting an IT job
- 57.96% of the surveyed students lacked analytical and quantitative skills
- 61% of the surveyed students just possess grammar skills which is not more than a grade 7
So, are we putting too much of emphasis on Mathematics, Science and Biology to leave our students clueless when it comes to English language proficiency and soft skills?
UB Desai, Director, IIT Hyderabad thinks so and commented, “Over the years, the focus in the education system has shifted to chemistry, maths, physics. Focus on soft skills has reduced. Students may lose out on good job prospects as many companies come to campuses for global positions as well,…”.
As such, there is a pressing need to have a balance and making conscious efforts to equip our Engineering graduates with English language proficiency and soft skills. Otherwise, fresh graduates will be less employable and will keep losing around 30-50% of salary because of below par English language proficiency and soft skills.